Boxing prospect Abdul Mateen sets sights on international bout

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s boxing prospect Abdul Mateen bin Haji Dahari has outlined his plans to further his career in the international scene once competitions return.

The local boxer and the whole boxing community have only been restricted to training with safety protocols in place in the absence of competitions.

“Insya Allah, I will probably join few tournaments and fights. I will try to compete outside of Brunei if I can,” said Abdul Mateen on the side-lines of the boxing seminar and clinic at Fitness Zone in Kiulap on Friday.

“I started boxing in early 2018 mainly because of fitness. Since then, I just started training every day for the past two years and I’m here right now showcasing my skills to Brunei Darussalam.”

The 22-year old was one of the two invited local boxers who sparred with the country’s star Muhammad ‘Irfan bin Haji Abdul Razak, who hopes to make his professional debut after signing with the iconic Jeff Mayweather.

Abdul Mateen bin Haji Dahari (L) during a sparring session. PHOTO: IRFAN RAZAK

Abdul Mateen has planned to make his competitive debut this year but all sports came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I haven’t actually joined any tournaments lately. The plan was supposed to be this year but since the pandemic, things have not gone according to plans and I have to cancel the tournaments,” he added.

Despite the lack of competitive appearances, Abdul Mateen has been maintaining his training schedule.

His interest in boxing started when he was below 10 years.

“I wasn’t allowed to train for boxing when I was a kid but after turning 18 or 19, I decided to go to the gym and get a little bit of knowledge about boxing, and just following the boxing lifestyle as I can,” Abdul Matteen said, adding that Sylvester Stallone’s hit sequel Rocky inspired him to boxing.

Abdul Mateen bides his time in several local gyms including Khalifa MMA, Nak Muay Gym and Chain Block as well as training at home and Fitness Zone with Muhammad ‘Irfan and other sparring partners.

He currently competes in the cruiserweight category (90kg below) but he plans to drop down to the middleweight category.